Britain is famed all over the world to have produced some of the best playwrights, actors and plays that have ever lived. The British theater has, for a long time, been a cultural institution in this historic nation and has represented all segments of society. The iconic British theater has presented serious literature, hosted music hall and variety events, captivated children with pantomimes, and just about held any public event you can think of. In every village, town and city across the nation there is some form of theater that serves the public in some sort of capacity. In this blog we look at some of the best theaters around Britain that exist today.
National Theater – London
London has more theaters than you can shake a big stick at and to try and picking just one or two that stand out from the rest is, to say the least, difficult. The West End is as famous as Broadway in New York for producing popular theatrical performances: from musicals to plays. But there is a host of other theaters presenting everything from classic Shakespearean works to hosting comedians.
On the south bank of the river Thames stands the grand National Theater which has a great reputation for producing some of the very best theater performances that the United Kingdom has to offer. The National Theater actually is home to three theaters: the Lyttelton, Olivier and Cottesloe.
With this ample space, there is always a plethora of programs and productions to choose from; the National is renowned for its classic plays and for presenting new dramas from modern playwrights. There are also many bars, restaurants, coffee houses to partake of before or after your chosen performance.
Royal Exchange – Manchester
This modern theater has been hosting performances since 1976 and is in one of the most beautiful of Manchester’s buildings. The theater has a circular stage which is known as in-the-round, and the audience of seven hundred completely surround the performers.
The Royal Exchange is one of the hardest working theaters in Britain, it hosts on average three hundred and fifty performances annually, that are a combination of performance arts, contemporary writing and revivals. The adjoining studio complements the programs with book readings, literary events and musical concerts.
Festival Theater – Edinburgh
The Old Town of Edinburgh is an enchanting place, full of atmosphere, granite buildings and culturally very engaging. The current theater stands on the original site of the legendary Empire Theater which dated back to 1830.
The Festival Theater opened its doors in 1994 and has one of the biggest stages in Scotland today. It also has a reputation for being one of the finest art centers in the UK. The theater is known for more classical performances such as ballet and opera, and to stage large-scale musical extravaganzas. During the Edinburgh Festival it is one of the main venues, although it is supposedly haunted by a famous illusionist who died in a fire, trapped in the old theater in 1911. In part two, we will be looking at even more famous theaters that grace Great Britain.